Full-Scale Evaluation of Positive Pressure Ventilation in a Firefighter Training Building

Report Date: July 2006

To compare natural ventilation with positive pressure ventilation (PPV), a series of experiments were conducted in a fire-fighter training burn building. The data showed that when used correctly, both natural ventilation and PPV resulted in lower temperatures within the structure. Generally, PPV caused more rapid visibility improvement and cooling as compared to natural ventilation. However, in some cases PPV caused the fire to grow more quickly with higher temperatures. The results of this paper can aid in understanding and developing proper PPV techniques.


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  • National Institute of Standards and Technology

    The NIST Fire Research Division develops, verifies, and utilizes measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment. This work involves integration of laboratory measurements, verified methods of prediction, and large-scale fire experiments to demonstrate the use and value of the research products.

    Through its programs in measurement, prediction, systems integration, and the dynamics of fire and its interactions with the built and natural environment, the division provides leadership for advancing the theory and practice of fire safety engineering, fire fighting, fire investigation, fire testing, fire data management, and intentional burning.

Kerber, Stephen and William Walton. Full-Scale Evaluation of Positive Pressure Ventilation in a Fire Fighter Training Building. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2006. NISTIR 7342, Print.

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